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Thread: slow weight gain

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
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    14

    Default slow weight gain

    Hi, I have posted here recently about my DS now 11 weeks and weighs 9lb 5oz. He was born on 25th centile, now just below 2nd. Recently he only gains 2 or 3 oz per week, initially we were doing better.


    He feeds every 1.5-2.5 hours round the clock except for one 3 or 4 hour gap at bedtime. Since last week he is bow sleeping well in Moses basket at night which I find more restful than on me!

    His feeds are long but with only 5-15 mins of active sucking and a LOT of comfort feeding. I do feel several strong let downs when he clearly drinks very well for 1-2 mins. Nappies are fine, infact I'm always amazed at how wet they are and average around 7 or 8 a day. Poops are yellow, every 2-3 days which is improving from 4-5 days.

    I'm worried that he is dropping off the centile hence questioning my supply. I'm trying compression, fenugreek tea and switch nursing but just would appreciate any advice on what might be the cause and how can I fix it?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2006
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    21,370

    Default Re: slow weight gain

    Remind us how old baby is again?
    Coolest thing my big girl said recently: "How can you tell the world is moving when you are standing on it?"
    Coolest thing my little girl sang recently: "I love dat one-two pupples!"

  3. #3
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    Feb 2012
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    14

    Default Re: slow weight gain

    11 weeks

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2006
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    Default Re: slow weight gain

    Oh gosh, I should read the post carefully and have a cup of coffee before asking dumb questions!

    Okay, based on the information provided you've got me going . Nappy output and nursing frequency sound perfect. But your baby is definitely on the small side. That might just be his normal. Someone has to be at the bottom of the charts, or off the bottom, just like someone has to be at the top or off the top. Healthy babies come in all shapes and sizes. If he's growing in length and meeting his developmental milestones, I'd be inclined to think that his growth is normal. Especially if you and your baby's dad are smaller, slenderer people. Smaller parents tend to have smaller babies.

    In fact, I am inclined to think that everything is okay, and you just have a small baby. The decline in the rate of weight gain is pretty normal at around this age. Somewhere around the middle of the first year, breastfed babies tend to drop some percentiles as they become increasingly mobile and devote more calories to motion and less to packing on fat. Especially active babies tend to reach this point earlier than their more sedentary peers, so if your baby is already starting to do things like reach, roll, or squirm, that could easily explain the slowdown in weight gain.

    Nevertheless, with a small baby you want to just... Keep an eye on things. Make sure nappy output stays on target. Don't let him go too long between nursing sessions, especially as he gets older and more interested in the world around him. A lot of babies reach a highly distractible stage around 4-5 months, when they forget to nurse because they are so busy observing and interacting with their environments. And when it's time to start solids, in another couple of months, go right to the higher-calorie foods like meats, beans, avocado, and whole-milk yogurt. No need to start with veggies, fruits, or cereals.
    Coolest thing my big girl said recently: "How can you tell the world is moving when you are standing on it?"
    Coolest thing my little girl sang recently: "I love dat one-two pupples!"

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
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    14

    Default Re: slow weight gain

    Thanks, I know it is a puzzle! I'm trying to balance my heart's desire to just carry on as we are with my head saying are you sure this is ok? Also i'm a doctor and a logical person which almost makes it harder.

    So, baby is very alert, active and smiley. He has been rolling since 7 weeks and now reaches out for toys. He still doesn't nap well and seems to find it very hard to switch off.

    I am petite(5'6" but v slim) dad is average build. Our first son is very alert and active but small for his age. I bf him for 8 months after huge problems with not latching on and very slow weight gain from day one. My health visitor made me give him one bottle of formula a day from six weeks, I really don't want to have to do that again.

    I just wonder is it ever possible that a mum's milk is not rich enough and if so is there anything I can do? I was iron deficient in pregnancy but had intravenous iron to correct it but am going to check it again this week.

    I plan to keep a close eye like you say and carry on as we are for now. How often should I weigh him do you think? Ideally I don't want to over medicalise things and just enjoy feeding my baby!

    Thanks again, much appreciated.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Posts
    21,370

    Default Re: slow weight gain

    No, there's no such thing as a mom making "skim" milk. When a breastfed baby is having trouble getting enough to eat, the problem is the quantity of milk the baby is taking in, not the quality. (See this link for more: http://www.kellymom.com/nutrition/mi...e-milkfat.html)

    That being said, I have heard that anemia in a baby can interfere with growth. And while breastmilk generally contains sufficient iron for a baby's needs, that may not hold true when mom is herself anemic. Since you had what must have been fairly significant iron deficiency during pregnancy, I think it makes sense to a) get your baby's iron checked now, rather than waiting until 9 months (which is when a lot of pediatricians will do a routine heel stick for iron levels), and b) start him on a daily multivitamin. The multivitamin can't hurt, and might help.

    Also, while it's quantity of milk, not quality, that influences baby's growth, I have heard moms on this forum say that when they add fat to their diet their milk seems to be fattier as well. I think the moms in question have drunk coconut milk and found that to be the case. Maybe post a thread about it and see if someone has first-hand experience.

    As to how often to weigh baby... I'm no doctor, but my gut says to go with once a month or thereabouts. If you zoom in too closely on the data, you can get freaked out by minor pauses or reversals in weight gain. Let's say baby gains nothing for 3 days- is that a problem? Well, not if the overall trend is up.

    It sounds to me like you just have a small baby and that makes sense since you and your husband are on the small-average end of the spectrum and your first child was also small. I know it's freaky to have a young baby who doesn't seem to be growing as fast as others, but the likelihood is that in a few years you'll be looking at a slender, healthy kid and getting praise from the pediatrician about the excellent job you've done keeping your child from falling prey to the epidemic of childhood obesity!
    Coolest thing my big girl said recently: "How can you tell the world is moving when you are standing on it?"
    Coolest thing my little girl sang recently: "I love dat one-two pupples!"

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Posts
    45

    Default Re: slow weight gain

    I agree with mommal on how frequently to get your baby weighed--I drove myself nearly crazy for about 2 months doing that--I was weighing my DD at home at least once a week and took her the ped's every 2 weeks. Not worth the trouble! Also, how is your LO on the height & head cirumference charts? If his last check-up showed continued growth on the same curves for those, my pediatrican told me not to be alarmed. At just around 12 weeks my DD started to drop on the charts as well. She started in the 50th and at 6 & 7 months seems to have leveled off at the 10th percentile. However, the first 2 months of drops were alarming. She went from the 50th (2 month) to the 33rd (3 month) , to the 20th (3 1/2 month), to the 15th (4 month) in two months. However, then the drop slowed and by 6 months she had only dropped to the 10th percentile in 2 months. Trust your gut is the best I can tell you! Good luck!

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
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    14

    Default Re: slow weight gain

    Thankyou both again, I agree with all of the above but it's nice to be reassured. His head circumference was great at his 8 week check (between 25th and 50th), I haven't had length done in a while but he definitely grows out of clothes length ways if not width!

    So I'll check the iron and adding fat to my diet can't hurt either. I know things should even out in the long run but when little ones is small and dependent on me for everything it's just really hard to keep up confidence that I'm doing things right for him.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
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    14

    Default Re: slow weight gain

    As an extra twist I've had increasing nipple pain last few days and this morning noticed white coating on babe's tongue. So am going to treat us for thrush - could that affect weight gain?

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
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    11

    Default Re: slow weight gain

    My DS just got a diagnosis of Failure to Thrive. He is 30 days old today and was admitted to the hospital yesterday for RSV. The MD came in late last night and told me that they were concerned with his weight gain. He weighed 4.13 at birth at 37 weeks, yesterday he weighed 5.2. They are unsure right now what is causing his slow weight gain and told me that they are gonna have the hospitals LC come to talk to me and she would check my breast milk for calories. They said that my breast milk may not have enough calories in it for him. I am very concerned not only with his RSV, but his weight also! I have been exclusively pumping and feeding him and just within the last couple days I have tried to get him back on my breast. Now I feel like with his sickness and weight issue I'm not gonna be able to breast feed!!! Does anyone have any experience with this? If my breast milk is low in calories, what can I do for that to increase?

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